"A group of the world's wealthiest individuals are lobbying the US Senate to introduce tougher estate tax rules. The protestors, including Microsoft's Bill Gates, fund manager John Vogle and Richard Rockefeller, are calling on the Senate to act before the holiday break to strengthen the US estate tax laws. [...]
According to a statement from national nonprofit United for a Fair Economy today, the billionaires say low estate tax will result in significant losses for the federal government.
This revenue supports the vital public structures and systems - transportation and energy infrastructure, education and healthcare, among others.
'In making the 2009 estate tax cut permanent, the House of Representatives would give a huge tax-break to the wealthiest 1% of Americans over ten years, at a time when economic inequality has skyrocketed,' said Lee Farris, UFE's estate tax policy coordinator.
Bill Gates said: 'No one accumulates a fortune without the help of our society's investments. How much wealth would exist without America's unique property rights protections, public infrastructure, and academic institutions? We should celebrate the estate tax as an 'economic opportunity recycling' programme. It's our turn to pass on the gift.' [...]
In Germany, a similar lobby group has been gaining prominence. The German initiative, the Vermögende für eine Vermögensabgabe (wealthy people in favour of a wealth tax), was launched last spring, according to UK newspaper The Times."
Read the full article in The Wealth Bulletin (London).